Monday, February 28, 2011

Interesting times

A quote from a letter published in a UK paper over the weekend –

The invasion of Iraq, the search for WMD, the deaths of British soldiers and the high cost to British taxpayers could probably have been avoided if the Iraqis had been allowed to do what those in Tunisia and Egypt have done.’

The news coverage these last few weeks has centred around the uprising of the people in the Middle East and North Africa. Tunisia and Egypt have seen a regime change that is in short a revolution. Hundreds of thousands of people have demonstrated against extreme poverty, human rights violation, government corruption and dictatorships and their voices are being heard. It’s a case of the oppressed finding their voice and speaking as one. We live in interesting times.

Libya is now a player, Gaddafi pledging, ‘to cleanse Libya, house by house.’ Britain and other Western Nations have made vast sums of money backing dictators in the nations now revolting, mainly through the supply of arms and I read, ‘if we want to help end terrorism, then we should stop participating in it.’ All good and well, but when there’s oil, mineral wealth and arms involved I cannot see our inexperienced Prime Minister doing anything other than talking about it.  The next few days will show how much influence the UK and other Western countries have.

Uganda’s recent election results came in and President Museveni, predictably, has taken power for another term 2011 – 2014. His efforts to amend the constitution are a common problem that seems to afflict almost all African Leaders, an unwillingness to follow normal constitutional policy and to give up power....Mugabe of Zimbabwe is a fine example of this appalling trend and there are many who see Museveni holding onto power in very much the same way.  Inevitably this could (will) be to the detriment of his people and their country.

It makes for interesting reading.  The internet, including all the social networking sites, is giving people the power to make themselves heard globally.  This invitation into their lives has the potential to change the way we, on the outside, get to look on the inside and that (I believe) has the power to alter everything from perspective, rose tinted spectacles and opinion.

For a twist on revolution read Gene Sharp, author of, 'From Dictatorship to Democracy'. 

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